Sunday, May 16, 2010

Studio Recording Session (05.15.10)


We spent all day yesterday at Sound Sanctuary Recording Studios in Riverside, CA, working on two new tunes: "Shine" and "Time Never Waits for You". Simply put, I think it may have been among the best music I've ever recorded. I've had to spend considerable effort today trying to contain my enthusiasm over this session. At least I can share with you, oh loyal reader.

The Basics
We arrived a little late -- it always takes longer to get rolling than you think -- and as soon as we got there, we quickly set up my laptop for our all-day video feed from the studio. Amazingly, I was able to establish a decent connection to Phil's router, and the bandwidth was sufficient to run the audio and video to Ustream. Success! Once we got the live stream set up, it was time to get rocking.

Once Bunny sauntered in, we got his drums set up in the live room, and Ken arrived shortly thereafter. Then we had our usual pow-wow in the lounge to go over some details and decisions about the tunes. A short while later, we set about getting the drum tracks down. As usual, we did this by having me record scratch tracks (that would be thrown away later) so Bunny could do his drums live, along with me. We started with "Shine" and then moved right away to "Time Never Waits for You". As soon as we got the drums down sufficiently, we gave Phil some time to make some adjustments to the drum tracks before we started overdubbing.

Zak warms up on guitar and laughs at the chat from our online viewing audience.

Bunny marveling at Phil's weapons of mass sonic destruction.

Happy Ken is happy.

Getting our plans together in the lounge at Sound Sanctuary.

Songs and gear and stuff
We had a really productive day, finishing almost everything needed for both songs (though I we have a couple of overdubs remaining for a future session). I used a cornucopia of gear at the session. Check it out...

"Shine": Martin D-18V, Gretsch Pro Jet, Fender Telecaster, Epiphone Casino, Ibanez SR-1100 bass
"Time Never Waits for You": Martin D-18V, Gretsch Pro Jet, Les Paul, Fender Telecaster, Ibanez SR-1100 bass

Both songs really had wonderful moments. I loved some of Ken's organ and synthesizer lines on both tunes. Bunny was solid as a rock, and he rocked all day long, hanging until the end to do some vocals on "Shine". Of course, Phil kept the session running smoothly through thick and thin, and helped get some amazing sounds for every track. It was terrific.

Bunny the rabid rabbit.

Taking down the drums after Bunny's masterful performances.

Time to throw down some bass tracks.

The live stream
I really had no idea if the stream would work, but not only did it function better than I would have expected; we had a number of great friends who hung out for a good portion of the day, just watching us do our thing. Every so often (without letting it distract me from the music much), I'd remember to wave over at our Internet audience. I was probably most impressed that our pal Mike was watching the session from his phone while he was out and about. The technology we take for granted today is just mind boggling.

Another highlight of the stream was our crazy musical chameleon Ken, who brought five different costume changes for our viewing audience. I nearly lost it at once point when I walked out of the control room and he was standing there in a Domino's pizza delivery uniform.

Oh, that crazy Ken.

Oh, that crazy Ken, part II.


Wrapping up another Zak Session
Knowing what I know about Phil's ability to blend, mix, and cajole sounds to come together in beauteous ways, I am nothing but thrilled about the stuff we got down yesterday. There's nothing like good friends, good times, and making good music. My hopes: high.

Bunny and Kat. No furry animals were harmed in the making of this photo.

No comments: